New Mexico Governor Grisham Delivers State of the State
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has laid out her agenda for the state in the year of 2022. The main points of her 25-minute address surrounded things like education, taxes, healthcare, and crime.
When it comes to education, Grisham’s main goal is to support the educators within the state. First, she proposed a minimum 7% raise for all educators in the year of 2022, which she says would put New Mexico first in the region for average educator pay. Grisham also spoke of raising the starting salaries for educators at all levels, which she says would give some teachers a 20% raise in 2022. She says that by doing this, the state will be able to retain high-quality educators, which will allow the students to thrive. She stated that making these pay raises would lead to a rise in graduation rates, and an increase in apprenticeship program participation. Finally, she briefly mentioned her Opportunity Scholarship program, which she says is allowing about 40,000 students to receive a college education for free.
Grisham proposed the cutting of taxes for every new Mexican resident. One major way she plans to go about this is by slashing the state’s sales tax. If this were passed, it would be the first time in 40 years since this was done. According to Grisham, it would save New Mexicans $170 million collectively each year. She hopes that this proposal can be prioritized in the state legislature. The Governor also proposed an end to taxing social security benefits, as New Mexico is one of only 12 states that does so. Finally, she expects an expansion of the state’s Working Families tax credit program, helping thousands more New Mexican residents save hundreds of dollars per person every year.
Grisham sees crime as a major item for her agenda, looking for harsher penalties on the state’s violent criminals. She is hoping to pass a law sometime in 2022 that will ensure the safety of New Mexican residents by keeping violent criminals behind bars until justice can be served. Grisham is calling for the legislature to approve a 19% increase for the state’s public safety department in order to discover more effective and innovative crime fighting methods. She is also calling for a 19% raise for New Mexico state police officers. Beyond that, she is asking for $100 million to help in the hiring and retaining of thousands more officers throughout the state. When it comes to the matter of these proposals, Grishamsaid, “I am asking for those things because New Mexicans are asking for them. New Mexico is a state that respects and supports law enforcement officers. I reject the rhetoric from Washington and elsewhere that has made public safety a political battleground. This isn’t about politics; it’s about basic human respect for one another.”
One major goal that Grisham has when it comes to healthcare is expanding access to high-quality care to rural communities. One way she is going about this is by proposing a Rural Health Care Delivery fund which will provide financing and funds to help kickstart construction of things like hospitals and other care centers. She also wants to put tens of millions of dollars into behavioral health programs to help treat substance abuse, reduce suicide levels, and more. She also is calling for $10 million to go to the state’s medical schools, ensuring that the people that attend leave with the most and the highest quality knowledge possible. Beyond that, Grisham wants to expand a state program that would give money to families that act as care-givers for elderly or disabled loved ones. Last but not least, the governor wants to see $60 million go towards the construction of a new living facility for veterans. She says that this will be paired with $60 million provided by the federal government.
Governor Grisham is up for reelection this year, and she is running for her second term in office. New Mexican residents will be able to vote in the primaries on June 7.